An actor working in West Side Story recently released a book, RM XIV, where he poses without his clothes to show his fans what life's like while he's on the road. His name is Mark MacKillop and he also performed in Broadway Cares, plus he's donating a portion of this nude photo image book to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
“It’s interesting looking back at these pictures and seeing where I was and where I’ve come,” he said. Touring in a musical, he noted, “helped to break down a lot of walls I had built up, and really opened [me] up as a person.”
It's very tastefully done, and I'm actually thinking of buying this myself. I love these well done coffee table books and I have seen one like this in a while.
You can read more here.
Johnny Weir On Russia
Here's a link to several posts I wrote about Johnny Weir, the Russian Olympics, and the anti-gay sentiments in Russia. I had a hard time understanding why anyone would support the Russian Olympics strictly based on my own personal beliefs about equality and freedom. And I'm far from being an advocate, activist, or a political person. I just don't think anything trumps equal rights...for anyone...not even sports.
Evidently, Johnny Weir didn't agree then, and he's back in motion once again with a new documentary that's going to show the more tender moments at the Russian Olympics. Get this, the title will be, To Russia With Love. Ugh! I'm honestly not joking about that and I'll post the link below.
This is what Weir allegedly claims to be his personal truth:
The openly gay Weir faced a barrage of criticism from some LGBT advocates who felt that he should boycott the Olympics in the wake of Russia's controversial "gay propaganda" legislation.
Still, he told The New York Times' Juliet Macur that the Olympics were "not the place to make a political statement.”
“I’m not a politician and I don’t really talk about politics," he said. Noting that he didn't feel the need to "break any laws or wear a rainbow pin," he added, "You don’t have to agree with the politics, but you have to respect the culture of a country you are visiting.”
No. Sorry. I don't have to support anything that is harmful or detrimental to the LGBTI community. Not now, or ever. And I don't have to respect any culture that promotes gay hate. Not for shits, giggles, or any amount of money I'm offered.
You can read more here. I don't think I get EPIX with my cable package, so I won't have to suffer the fresh hells of this documentary.
Amazon on Hachette
I've tried to come up with a simple example of what's been happening between Amazon and big five publisher, Hachette. It's a much more complicated issue on every level, however, this link sums things up in a more concise way than most things I've read.
First, the big statement Amazon recently made is about e-book prices. Instead of charging $14.99 and above, Amazon wants e-books priced at $9.99...or I would imagine lower. Amazon also wants 35% of revenues going to authors, 35% going to publishers, and 30% going to Amazon. Before anyone gets all upset about these numbers, I personally read through one author contract not too long ago with an e-publisher and the author, in that case, was only receiving 28% of the revenues. Yes, this is an e-publisher...a small one. That's not uncommon, for authors to receive that percentage or less. In fact, this was a well known m/m romance publisher.
In any event, Amazon went right for the throat this time:
"Is 30 percent reasonable? Yes. In fact, the 30 percent share of total revenue is what Hachette forced us to take in 2010 when they illegally colluded with their competitors to raise e-book prices," Amazon writes, referencing a recently settled anti-trust case against Apple for e-book price-fixing. "We had no problem with the 30 percent— we did have a big problem with the price increases."
You can read more here. Amazon also makes an interesting comment about how they don't want to control what the publisher shares with the author. They're only making a suggestion.
I have no comment other than I know, personally, from my own experience in indie publishing, the cost to produce an e-book is virtually nothing compared to the cost of producing a print book. And as a reader, I have paid $14.99 and higher for e-books from the big five publishers that have left me seething enough to never make that mistake again.
For those of you who really want to get into the details about what's been happening between Amazon and Hachette, here's a link to a more complicated piece.
Hachette Sales Drop
According to this next link, Hachette sales have dropped by 1% since all this business with Amazon started. Frankly, I'm not sure this drop has anything to do with what's been happening with Amazon because I've heard e-book sales have dropped in other places, too. In my case, it's only hearsay. But the fact that e-book sales have leveled out all over the place most likely has something to do with this decline. It's difficult to tell at this point.
In the UK, where Amazon has not deployed the same tactics against publishers, Hachette's ebook sales continued to grow.
Speaking on a conference call with market analysts, Dominique D'Hinnin, chief financial officer at Lagardère, played down the impact of the Amazon dispute. "Is there an impact in the Amazon's relationship? Maybe, but it is hard to tell."
I think there are other factors that come into play, too. The tablet craze is over. Google glass is lagging and it may or may not become the next trend. More and more people are looking for larger smart phones and I think they'll be reading more on their phones.
I also think people are still excited about e-books. They just don't want to pay the same price for an e-book they'd pay for a print book.
You can read more here.
Chase of a Holy Ghost
by Ryan Field
The Ghost and Mr. Moore
by Ryan Field